Man wearing collared shirt and black glasses

Adam Malantonio, Digital Initiatives Developer

Led by Digital Initiatives Developer Adam Malantonio and Digital Repository Librarian Nora Egloff, with support from the Digital Infrastructure unit of ITS, Digital Scholarship Services recently launched a new repository platform for digital collections. Digital content that can now be accessed on the new site includes the Lafayette Newspaper Archive (1870-current edition), Alumni Magazine Archive (1930-2016), student, administrative and Public Safety publications, and more than 1700 faculty publications. Faculty and administrative departments are welcome to get in touch with repository staff to learn how they can use this service to provide long term storage and online access for their materials.

Woman wearing beige sweater and glasses

Nora Egloff, Digital Repository Librarian

The new Lafayette Digital Repository has a number of advanced features that enhance user experience, such as improved full text searching and in-context display of search terms within the results. A completely overhauled and modernized user interface has brought the site up-to-date visually.  To encourage the use of collections as data, users now have the option to download individual item filesets as a single .zip package, or as individual metadata files in a number of different serializations. All items in the LDR receive durable permalinks, to ensure that link-rot within citations that reference materials hosted within the repository does not occur after future migrations.   

This project affirms the Library’s commitment to supporting open source (rather than proprietary) library technologies.  In addition to facilitating open access for scholarly and institutional publications from the Lafayette community, the new repository is also built with open infrastructure and uses code from multiple open source software projects.  The application employs the Samvera Hyrax solution bundle, with data stored in the Fedora Commons repository system and indexed by Apache Solr.

Plans for the future include the migration of additional library digital collections, including the nearly 15,000 images that are currently hosted on the circa 2014 Islandora repository, into this new platform.  A single repository for institutional content and digital image collections will provide a more comprehensive and unified user experience and will detach collections from their individual silos of access.  Improved subject and geolocation information faceting and integration of item metadata with Linked Open Data projects are other ways that the next phase of this migration will open up library digital collections to local and remote users in fresh ways.